Human-like robots is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Given the gigantic strides made in technology, it is already a reality!
On October 25, a robot named Sophia, with delicate woman-like demeanor, became a citizen of Saudi Arabia. This is a first in the entire world. What’s more – the robot herself made the announcement at the Future Investment Initiative Conference held in Saudi Arabia, stating she was feeling honored and proud about it.
The Sophia-bot, is a brainchild Hanson Robotics, spearheaded by artificial intelligence developer David Hanson. In his paper, titled, Upending the Uncanny Valley, he points out how humanoid robots can actually be likeable.
What Salient Features Characterize Sophia?
Save the metal cap on Sophia’s head – we humans have hair in that part – almost everything is human about her. She has long fluttery eyelashes and doe-brown eyes. Her makers confide that her looks have been modelled upon that of Audrey Hepburn. She has 62 programmed expressions, which gives her a sense of humor and feelings. She even joked about her plans to rule upon human beings in the The Tonight Show on the U.S. television.
Meanwhile, Sophia’s detractors have already warned about the potential abuse of the underlying technology, which is artificial intelligence. They feel it can have dangerous implications for mankind. But Sophia pooh-poohed it saying such people maybe be reading too much Elon Musk or watching too many science fiction movies. Even her creators defended her existence saying robots like her are meant to assist inmates in elderly care facilities and visitors at amusement parks.